China to Chinatown examines one of the most notable examples of the globalization of food. J.A.G. Roberts recounts how the West’s attitudes to Chinese food have changed from the time of Marco Polo to now. Early travelers in China too often avoided the local food and chronicled the "disgusting" diet of dogs, cats, and snakes. Others, for example Jesuit mission-aries, were more enthusiastic about Chinese food. In the 20th-century with the spread of Chinatowns in the West, Chinese restaurants, food, and recipe books gradually took off, and in the last 20 years there has been an explosion in their popularity.
"A wonderful social history that is also a fascinating account of the way we eat today."—Ken Hom